Chennai, Jan 30: Amid raging controversy over "ghar wapsi", nine persons, including three couples, were reconverted to Hindu religion after being Christians for over a decade at a brief ceremony here on Friday.
Deivanayagi, her husband Sekar, Annakili and her spouse Rajendran and Lakshmi and her husband Jeyaraman were the couples who were reconverted at a brief ceremony. Besides them, Jamuna, Nagamma and Mouli Velu were the others who returned to the Hindu faith.
All of them hail from suburban Minjur here and are construction labourers. They were sprinkled with Ganga waters, turmeric tinged rice after brief prayers that began with a Vedic hymn to Lord Ganesha. State General Secretary of Hindu Makkal Katchi Rama Ravikumar led the ceremony and prayers.
Deivanayagi and Sekar said they became Christians 17 years ago as the local Church allegedly promised them houses to live if they got converted. Annakili and Rajendran said they became Christians a decade ago. Lakshmi and Jayaraman said they followed the Christian faith for six years.
"We were given houses on rent by them and we faced social problems in our community after we converted," they said. Jamuna said, she became Christian as she was promised a "bountiful life with no worries," if she chose that faith.
"I have kids and I am a labourer..I saw no change in life after I converted..also Church demanded money for several purposes and I could not give."
Nagamma, too, said she was offered "house to live" over a decade ago when missionaries approached her. Persuasion was also cited as one reason for them to choose Christianity and all of them claimed that they had followed that faith for many years and chose to return "voluntarily."
The ceremony was held at the Kamakshi temple here run by the Kanchi Kamakotti Peetam after the famed Sri Parthasarathy temple under the State Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department refused to give permission to hold the event.
Rama Ravikumar told reporters they could not bring 108 persons for reconversion ceremony as planned as police had allegedly prevented the effort. Several policemen in plain cloths were seen inside the temple and a posse of policemen was deployed around the temple.